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El Paso City Council opposes militarizing the border

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  • Greg Cannon
    http://www.elpasotimes.com/news/ci_3857607 05/24/2006 12:00:00 AM MDT City Council opposes militarizing the border By David Crowder / El Paso Times President
    Message 1 of 1 , May 24, 2006
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      http://www.elpasotimes.com/news/ci_3857607

      05/24/2006 12:00:00 AM MDT

      City Council opposes militarizing the border
      By David Crowder / El Paso Times

      President Bush's proposal to send 6,000 National Guard
      soldiers to the border region to improve security drew
      the El Paso City Council's unanimous opposition
      Tuesday.

      The resolution, proposed by West-Central city Rep.
      Susie Byrd, asserted that solders are trained to deal
      with enemy combatants, not border residents, and that
      "the proposal threatens the safety and well being of
      the residents of our border communities."

      East-Central city Rep. Jose Alexandro Lozano was the
      only council member to voice reservations about the
      measure, saying that it is a federal issue, not a
      local one, and that the real problem isn't
      undocumented immigrants but the "illegal employers"
      who hire them.

      Although the resolution opposed U.S. militarization of
      the border, Lozano said, the Mexican government is
      militarizing its side of the border to curtail illegal
      immigration.

      And, he said, the National Guard will join the
      Minutemen in saving lives of people trying to cross
      the desert.

      But Lozano acknowledged with a laugh that he could not
      vote against such a resolution and joined his fellow
      council members in supporting it.

      Speaking for the American Civil Liberties Union, Ray
      Ybarra called on the El Paso City Council to become
      the first metropolitan council to adopt a measure that
      is likely to sweep the country.

      "It's time for the border counties of Texas to tell
      President Bush not to militarize the border," Ybarra
      said.

      The city of Laredo recently expressed its opposition
      to a border fence, as well as to placing National
      Guardsmen on the border.

      David Crowder may be reached at
      dcrowder@...; 546-6194.
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